Chapter 9 – Switching Homes

This blog is a book. Maybe better read from the beginning? 🙂


Friday, 15 January 2016.


Day 26



Happy Man 

🎼 Now playing at Anna’s

When I die there won’t be much
To salvage from my earnings
I never had a lot of land or houses to my name
I’ve never been a corporate prince
On Madison and New York
I never held a diamond in my hand

But I’ve seen children laughing
As only children can
And I’ve known my Creator
And I’ve been a happy man

I never really loved the way I saw it in the movies
But I had myself a woman of my own
The place we lived was modest
And we kept the yard together
I never traveled far from my hometown

But I’ve heard music playing
That made me understand
And touched the hearts of heaven
And I’ve been a happy man

Life has had its hard times
When I’ve felt the chill of winter
I can’t forget the night
When my sweet Julie slipped away

But growing old is different
Than I always thought it would be
The sweetness of my youth
Just grew with age

‘Cause I’ve known wealth and beauty
Beneath His guiding hand
And knowing soon I’ll see Him
Has made me a happy man
And knowing soon I’ll see Him
Has made me a happy man 🎶


Mr. Ex is back from the Bahamas and the teens have now switched to their old flat to be with dad. Kris and Joey are going to live a week with each of us parents, according to what has been agreed on.

The situation is new to everyone involved, and definitely not easy, but at least their homes are only 1 km away from each other – Ruoholahdenkatu and Jätkäsaari.


Anna is sitting in her car with him Mr. Ex, who else?

The weather is really bad outside, and a huge snow storm is making Helsinki more and more beautiful by the second.

They are talking politely about things, his trip, the teens…

… And the divorce application form. 😯

Just fill in both spouses’ whole names, identity numbers and the date. Ah! Don’t forget to sign and also tick the box stating this is the first divorce application,” the officials had answered to her phone inquiry.

Yes, it’s as simple as that in Finland: one single, very easy PDF page that you google and print. And just shove into a mailbox anywhere, as though it were a birthday card. A few weeks later a confirmation with an invoice will be mailed. And six months later the judge’s decision. By POSTI, as well.

How can they make something so painful so easy! Ha!

Better this way – as if life isn’t complicated enough during a separation.


She has decided that if things have progressed this fast, so that Mr. Ex has already traveled with Ms. Newbie, then they should get an official divorce ASAP.

She hands him the pre-filled application.

They find no pen in Anna’s car.

Decisively, Ex gets out of the car into the piercing storm to sign the form inside the Siwa grocery store on Eerikinkatu.

That’s what he really, really wants then, she realizes with sorrow and silence, feeling the pang of rejection again.


The next day, she spends her whole Saturday cleaning. She likes things to be spick and span, and especially organized. The lack of space makes it hard to keep all their stuff tidy when Anna and her teens are sharing the place.

Nevertheless, it has been soooo special to be with them for over three weeks. ❤️‍

Joey, Kristiina and I have always been so close.

To her, it feels like they are her friends as much as she’s their mother.


Just before leaving, Joey wants to open up. He doesn’t want to go back to his dad’s, as he’s feeling angry at his father.

“He should have used the time with us, mom! Maybe traveled with us to grow closer and make us feel safe at a time like this… Not with that F…Ne#wb%i&e…H!

“To hell with them! This whole thing is too hard. And how can he not love you?? You’re the best there is!!”


It’s tough to see Joey like this. Anna is feeling sad and concerned about her son.

While she is searching for inner strength and wisdom about how to respond, she just listens, thinking in silence…


Gosh! How are things gonna go??

Of course I’d like the teens to stay with me longer, but how will they keep the bond with their father if they don’t spend half the time with him?

And Mr. Ex has to come back to normal life, back to reality! Our kids are his responsibility, too.

Oh, he will – I’m sure. He’s always been a loving dad…

But what about Joey’s feelings??

Besides, if I make an exception already and let them stay on over here, how can I expect to divide their time and care with Ex later on?


It doesn’t matter how I feel right now.

I have to think of their best. Think long term, Anna!

Otherwise, they’ll be the ones who will suffer the most. They’ll regret growing distant to their father.


Anna doesn’t want Kris and Joey to feel unwelcome or unwanted in her – ops, their – new flat. She needs Joey to understand the situation.

It takes some loving words on her part to calm him down.

“Son, I understand your feelings. You’re entitled to feel the way you feel and you’re always allowed to express yourself to me. Always! I’ll try to listen and to understand, I promise,” he is sitting on the kitchen counter and she puts her hand gently on his knee “Having said that…

“…Life is messy, my darling. You don’t understand adult relationships yet. Your dad and I really tried everything we could. We want to try to wish each other happiness now. And…” sigh “…Maybe you’re right to question his actions… But he loves you and wants to keep close to you and spend time together!”

“Eurgh. It will be so hard to be there, mom!!”

“Yes, I know.

“Joey darling. As hard as it is to accept this… Your dad and Newbie are just human. At the end of the day, they are doing nothing hateful. We’re not talking about war, crime or terrorism here… They’re just two people trying to love and be loved. That’s it.” she sighs.

He should have tried harder to love ME better!


“I know mom.”  it’s his turn to sigh  “For me it’s OK that you guys separated, it’s not that… But to already have traveled with another woman! So wrong. You guys are still married.”

“Hey Joey, remember. You don’t have to like the way things are, but I want you to always treat them with respect anyway, OK? Give it time…

“You know what, son? You can call me and we can meet up ANY day after school! We can hang out even when it’s your dad’s turn to be with you. Come over for a snack or to do your homework. I’ll be missing you, too. Very much.”

They hug good-bye and Anna feels heartbroken. For now, the whole separation seems a bit easier on Kristiina.


It’s Saturday evening now – many hours later – and Anna’s place is looking clean and cozy.

She showers, gets into her pjs and then places her favorite vinyl on the record player she got herself for her 39th birthday with money gifts from friends. She’d planned on buying one for centuries. She’s glad she did.

B.J. Thomas is singing and his lyrics sound like a mix of comforting and fantastic to her ears as she stands there, looking out the balcony door.

Happy Man has just played. The song touches the depths of her soul! A simple, loving, happily shared life is all I’ve ever wanted.

How hard can it be? Was I asking for too much??

Will I ever have another go at that? A second chance?


She’s kept this specific record through all the zillion moves from city to city, country to country since she was a child. She’d dreamed of having a record player again, wished to turn vinyls to the other side to listen to good music in a nostalgic manner, like her dad used to do when she was growing up.

Definitely worth it!

🎼 He holds the stars in the sky
He holds the land back from the sea
If He can do all of that
Surely he can take care
Of you and me

He’s got it all in control… 🎶

Anna feels that she herself is doing well under the circumstances, but offers up a million prayers for her teens to be OK.


© 2017 rf



Obs. Day 26 since moving out. What now???

Happy Man LP – B. J. Thomas © Word, Inc.





Author: TinderellaAnna

Anna is a character. Half-fictional, half-inspired in many, many true events. Half-European, half-Latin-American. She is happy, she is strong, she is a mom, a teacher, a friend. Despite the divorce - not of her choice - she is determined to be joyful, grateful, hopeful, sweet; believing that life is for sharing and that he is somewhere out there. But he will have to be as lovable as she is. After all, better alone than in bad company. Sigh: but better in good company than alone... Disclaimer: All names and places have been changed to protect the people who happen to be true.

7 thoughts on “Chapter 9 – Switching Homes”

  1. It is gut wrenching to read about the kids. It is hard enough to hear the story from an adult perspective but to know how much the kids are hurting… I think I need a break for a bit!

    Liked by 1 person

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